Constituent Assembly members have fanned out across the districts to collect grassroots opinions regarding what the people want included in the new constitution. They have carried with them stacks of questionnaires. It has been reported that quite a few CA members themselves have been unable to make head or tail of several questions asked. It is well known that some of the members are unlettered, and some others have barely studied beyond the elementary level. Given the state of general education in the country, many graduates find filling official forms a hard nut to crack. So, some of our CA members’ cerebral
quandary is perfectly understandable.
This leads to another question, how then can the most ordinary of voters get to complete the forms? Coming to grips with the larger constitutional issues is beside the point. Whether the
CA members know the three R’s or not, they are expected to be among the foxy lot. Many had written off the whole exercise as money gone down the drain. But on the other hand, the lack of this exercise might have led to accusations of ignoring hoi polloi. But big parties have made up their minds as to major provisions of the new constitution, and some of them have already come out with their drafts. One has only to keep one’s fingers crossed as to how things will pan out. You can’t expect the masses to get the hang of such concepts as constitutional checks and balances. But they can do some plain talking: Make our lives better in all practical ways.